GSP: Rory MacDonald fought great and made it look easy


Not surprisingly, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has come to the quick defense of his all-star pupil Rory MacDonald, refuting the critics who lambasted MacDonald’s uninspired performance in a winning effort against Jake Ellenberger at Saturday’s UFC on Fox 8. MacDonald’s detractors, who include UFC President Dana White, felt that MacDonald should have taken advantage of his “The Juggernaut’s” surprising tentativeness and at least attempted to finish the fight.

However, GSP is not among those critics, instead believing that MacDonald implemented the correct strategy by not playing into his opponent’s power slugging game. St-Pierre voiced his views to The Canadian Press:

He shouldn’t care about the critics. You don’t brawl with a brawler. It was up to Ellenberger to open up and take more risk because he was losing and he didn’t. Rory fought a great fight and even made it look relatively easy.” 

Many would argue that St-Pierre himself has been utilizing an all-too-safe game, having not finished an opponent since BJ Penn in 2009, so no one will be shocked when they hear that GSP thought MacDonald fought a great bout. But he’s going to be among the few sharing that sentiment, as MacDonald has been generally raked over the proverbial coals by fans and media alike.

The performance, regardless of whether it was a masterfully executed gameplan or not, put “Ares” into a sort of no-man’s land in the stacked UFC welterweight division. And with Demian Maia reportedly set to face off with Jake Shields later this year, there are no clear-cut opponents left for MacDonald at the current time.

Surging striker Robbie Lawler comes to mind, as he appears re-energized in his latest stint in the UFC. MacDonald hinted at wanting a rematch with the only man to ever defeat him in Carlos Condit, who will face Martin Kampmann in Indianapolis on August 17th. 

Maybe MacDonald did the right thing in not slugging it out with Ellenberger, or maybe he missed out on making a true statement for his coveted title shot. Do you agree with GSP’s assessment of the bout?

  • It's an entertainment business but MMA is an art. I've heard many MMA fighter's say that there is no reason to try to do what the other fighter is better at. Jake is a slugger looking for that one shot knockout. Rory is a technical fighter looking to break you down and oppose his will on you. Yes it was a boring fight that didn't impress anyone but GSP (of course) but it was a smart fight. Just taking the fight against Jake was a risk, he didn't want to gamble too much by fighting Jake's kind of fight. I don't even really like either of these fighter's, just my own opinion.

    • Smart for the win but just winning in boring fashion wont mean you get paid more or move up the ladder so it depends what you're hoping to accomplish. You would think you want people to be excited to see you fight to earn spots on the ppv, that all Rory did was lose fans so definitely not smart in that regard.

  • There you go Safe Peezy, take up for Jr.

    Jake did clock him@ the end but it was too late.

  • As expected, Georges Safe-Pierre, The Snooze Master, has spoken and quite frankly he was very impressed by Rory's nonstop action bout.

    Congrats, Rory, you definitely got The Snooze Master and I out of our seats, it was one of the greatest fights ever. Your fight will never be forgotten. #FIGHTOFTHEYEAR

  • Made what look easy? Taking a standing nap during a fight?

    GSP boring on the ground and Rory boring on the feet. Between the two of them they make one COMPLETE BORING fighter.

    • GSP is just patting himself on the back by saying it was a great performance. As if bhe would come out saying that sucked anyway because he would get a ton of feedback for being a hypocrite.

  • ….If you think about it though…Rory's hair did look perfect during the fight, and did not get messed up at all……

    • Because he was smart enough to stay away from Jake's power? Oh yeah you are right man!!

  • I loved it when they showed the "move of the fight"….. "here's a jab by Rory"…….Oooooohhh.

  • I agree with the assessment and to be fair, this was Rory's first boring fight. That means, that if we put him on the Anderson Silva grade-scale of boring fights, he still has one to go.

    The story of this fight was demonstrated at the weigh-in when the stood, not face-to-face, but at the exact range that MacDonald fought at. As Ellenberger couldn't get up in MacDonald's face at the weigh-in, so too, could he not in the fight.

    I thought it was a great technical fight on Rory's behalf and one that took no foolish risks. As GSP said, it wasn't Rory's job to turn it into a brawl, it was Ellenberger's and he failed, miserably. He was too worried about getting lit up on the way in and not having the fighter there in front of him, once he did.

    What I found odd about Jake's performance was not only its timidness, but also how he fought so "small". MacDonald has a three-and-a-half inch reach advantage on Ellenberger and Jake let it show.

    In the 3rd, I wish the fight had gone to the ground earlier, because I think when MacDonald was taking his back (as the fight ended) that he could well have owned Jake, either by submission or G 'n P.

    At the end of the day, I think the fight said more about Ellenberger and where he truly sits in the division, then it does about MacDonald and his heart or skills. Where Rory proved he's a technical fighter, Ellenberger proved that he's probably going to struggle with decent strikers who either don't get sucked into his game or can hold his game at bay; Robbie Lawler is a fighter that comes to mind.

    I could well see how Jake could be in the bottom three of top-ten and by the end of the year, should he get / take another bout before Christmas.

  • People that " boo" at sporting events are losers.

    • Unless you are Canadian and you're booing at the Americans during the Olympics – then it's okay. Especially in hockey or curling!

    • watermelon fresh you are right!!

  • I disagree with GSP, this fight was lame. Don't get me wrong though, I believe the guy could of destroyed Jake if he had fought the way he usually does. But Jake had a hand in this too, what was up with him. It's like he was scared of Rory for some reason. This is why I hate guys who talk too much before a fight, they scare themsevles out.

  • If Rory had been aggressive he would have gotten KOd. Jake Shields has a chin of steal (see Hendo fight) and Ellenberger tkod him with ease. He fought smart and won.

    • "He fought smart"? really?…

      I didn't see ANY fight… all i seen is the longest stare down in UFC history!

      • Yes they fought more than you ever fought.
        Yes they fought smarter than you ever fought.
        No it wasn't a staredown it mainly was a standup battle in which none of them wanted to take the risk of getting knocked out.
        No, you have absolutely no knowledge about MMA, or any combat sports.
        Yes, your comment makes it look like you are an uneducated child.

        Any other questions sir?

  • More than Rory I think GSP is trying to defend himself as he has been a victim of such criticism for a very long time.

  • Some people were saying this was a FOTN contender. I thought it could have been mself but Mac Donald showed the world what an awesome jab he has (no broken orbital bone) and Ellenberger had no answer for it. Mac Donald being smart didn't need to take any chances for the win and it was Ellenberger who needed to step it up and eat a few but left it far too late in the fight to change tack. I think if Mac Donald had wanted to he could have stepped it up some gears himself like he did against Penn but he chose not to but the onus wasn't on him to as he was clearly winning with ease.

  • I agree with GSP. Nothing wrong with the performance.
    Wow it wasn't exciting… it's the sort of performance no one will be bothered about after he has a good one, just so recent it still tastes salty.

  • The issue I had is fighters objective is to finish the fight. The time limit is to keep the contest under a controlled condition. But ultimately from its inception, the goal of the fighters was to finish the other fighter.

    That fight wasn't to finish. It was to not get finished. The by product of that is… a boring fight.

    But Roy has never been an exciting fighters. Wandy, Condit, Zombie, Alves, Thiago silva can loose until the end of time, and i'll always watch them. Their just fun to watch. Roy has never been on that list.